Tag: Evolved

Media Monday: Australian thrillers #AtoZChallenge

A to Z Challenge 2018 AThe books: Broometime Seranade by Barry Metcalfe and Crossings by Ashley Capes

The music: “Straight Lines” by Silverchair

It’s a well-known fact that everything in Australia is trying to kill you, so why would books set there be any different?

In Crossings, wildlife ranger Lisa is puzzled when kangaroo entrails show up outside her house. She thinks it’s her abusive ex, until a bunch of people start dying. She’s busy trying to find the culprit, but she’s having a hard time focusing because her dad has dementia and needs her full attention. And then wildfires come through, along with a giant ghost kangaroo because it’s Australia and did I mention, everything – from the people to your own mind, from the weather and landscaping to giant ghost kangaroos – is trying to kill you! This book is a great mix of suspense and paranormal, with a relatable main character, a fast-moving plot, and wonderful imagery that pulls you right in.

The second book, Broometime Seranade, also features death because that’s what happens in Australia. Special Australian-equivalent-of-the-FBI/CIA agents Martin and Claire are sent to a coastal town to investigate a bunch of bodies that have been discovered in the area. As they investigate further, trying not to blow their cover and enjoying the beautiful beach, they soon discover that there are darker forces at work than just the average murderer – a foe more powerful than they can imagine, who’s laid a trap they’ve walked right into. Also, there are spiders in this book. Lots and lots of spiders that are okay with killing. Because of course.

The music I’ve picked is in keeping with the theme coming from Australia. ACDC is probably the best Australian band ever, but who can forget Silverchair? Everyone, probably, because did you know that the singer married Natalie Imbruglia, the band members are almost 40, and they released a new album in 2007? Me neither. This song is off that album. As you can see, they’ve changed a bit in the last 20 years. But in true Aussie fashion, this video seems to be the band members running from something probably trying to kill them.

Every day this month, I’m participating in the 2018 A to Z Blogging Challenge. Please take a moment to check out some of the other blogs that are participating.

Iowa City Book Fair on Saturday, Oct 3rd

One of my goals for this year is to improve my marketing. In addition to running various ads, I’m also trying to fit in more appearances – book signings, author fairs, etc.

This Saturday, I’ll be at the Iowa City Book Fair, part of their annual book festival, running the table for my publisher, Evolved Publishing.

Stop by the downtown pedestrian mall from 10-5 to say hi, pick up a copy of The Lone Wolf and works by other EP authors, and get lots of free swag.

Weekend Writing Warriors 3/1/15 #8sunday

lwcover300x446New month, new story. Because I just finished outlining its sequel (although I don’t have any free time to write it!), I’m pulling from my novel, The Lone Wolf, published by Evolved Publishing in December 2013.

After her husband’s infidelities are revealed, Kasey Sanford just wants to rediscover who she is. After an abusive childhood and years as a career soldier, Andrew Adams just wants someone to tell him that he’s doing the right thing with his life. When their paths cross, Kasey and Andrew embark on a tumultuous journey that demonstrates just what they’re willing to do to save the ones they love.

In this snippet, Andrew is enjoying some downtime during a tour in Iraq. While checking in on his unit he notices a bunch of guys gathered around a clothes-covered cot.

* * * * * * * * * * *

I walked over to the cot, looked down, and saw that what I’d mistaken for clothes was a sleeping soldier—Butch, a short skinny guy who was anything but. “Is that…Where the hell did you find yourself Saran wrap in the middle of a desert?”

“My girl sent it to me,” Reyes giggled. “Isn’t this awesome?”

They’d securely attached Butch to his cot with plastic wrap, and judging by its opaqueness, there had to be at least a dozen layers.

“Watch this,” Reyes said as he grabbed a bottle of water and poured it over Butch’s face.

Butch jerked his body up but the plastic held, and I had to admit, they’d done a great job. Butch’s sputters quickly changed to a profanity-laced tirade against his fellow soldiers, their mothers, and the US military in general.

* * * * * * * * * * *

Post a link to your eight sentences blog entry, or join the fun at the Weekend Writing Warriors website.

You can get a copy of The Lone Wolf at Amazon and Barnes and Noble, or the audiobook at Amazon, Audible, or iTunes.

Anyone? by Angela Scott

anyone coverMonday was a big launch day at Evolved Publishing. In addition to my own The Futility of Loving a Soldier short story collection, fellow author Angela Scott released Anyone?, a YA post-apocalyptic novel.

The end of the world? That’s the stuff of Hollywood blockbusters and deep philosophical exercises in school. No need to sweat it. So when sixteen-year-old Tess’s doomsday-dad builds a bomb shelter in their suburban backyard, everyone thinks he’s gone crazy….

…Until fire rains down from the sky, sinking whole cities into colossal craters and setting much of the world ablaze.

Tess’s dad gives her a few short minutes to gather her emergency bag and her freaked-out kitten, then leads her outside and into the underground shelter. Terrified, the last thing she expects is for him to leave her there all alone, but he has no choice—he must find her missing brother.

Before leaving, he makes Tess promise to keep the hatch door shut, not to open it for anyone but him, and to stay put until he returns.

But he forgot to tell her one thing: What is she supposed to do if he never comes back?

Anyone? is available through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, and Kobo.
Plus, Angela is giving away prizes!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Weekend Writing Warriors 11/30/14 #8sunday

coverI have a new book of short stories, The Futility of Loving a Soldier, available now from Evolved Publishing!

The Futility of Loving a Soldier is a collection of eleven short stories about the effects of combat on relationships with military friends and family. Moving between why we love our troops to why we hate them, The Futility of Loving a Soldier demonstrates that we wouldn’t want lives without them.

Today’s excerpt is from “A Wedding,” which is my favorite story in the collection. Eli and Abby were best friends growing up and haven’t really talked in nearly ten years – Abby went to college and Eli enlisted. Now they’re both back in their small hometown where everyone feels like commenting on their lives.

“So, Abby, did you hear that the Hicks boy is getting married this month?” she asked as she placed a couple frozen pizzas on the belt.

I nodded and reached for the bar to separate our orders.

“Jamie Linn is just a doll, ain’t she? They’re so happy together,” the gray-haired woman said, straining to lift a two-liter Diet Coke from her cart, “ and Eli deserves some happiness after all he’s been through, bless him.”

I bit my lip and swallowed the lump in my throat.

“You and him was so close growing up,  we expected y’all to get married someday.”

The lump grew with each of the woman’s words.

“But that was before he came back ” – her voice dropped to a false whisper – “like that.”

Read more about Abby and Eli, and the other soldiers in this collection, by getting your copy at Amazon for just $2.99. Then post a link to your eight sentences blog entry, or join the fun at the Weekend Writing Warriors website.

And while you’re at Amazon, get a free copy of my latest short story, “Not My Thing.”

Weekend Writing Warriors 11/23/14 #8sunday

coverI have a new book of short stories, The Futility of Loving a Soldier, coming out December 1st from Evolved Publishing.

The Futility of Loving a Soldier is a collection of eleven short stories about the effects of combat on relationships with military friends and family. Moving between why we love our troops to why we hate them, The Futility of Loving a Soldier demonstrates that we wouldn’t want lives without them.

Today’s excerpt is from “A Wedding,” which is my favorite story in the collection. Eli and Abby were best friends growing up and haven’t really talked in nearly ten years – Abby went to college and Eli enlisted. He was wounded, and she visited him in the hospital.

I stepped into the room where he lay unconscious, passed out from pain and medication. He looked so pathetic lying there, with bigger muscles than the last time I’d seen him but paler, deathly pale with huge black circles under his eyes, cuts all over his exposed face and neck, and a bandage where his left arm should’ve been.

 

I edged over to his bed and picked up his right hand—his only hand now—careful not to disturb any of the wires and tubes sticking out of him, then stared at his fingers and palm, tracing the callouses on his fingertips before gently setting it back down and leaving the room.

 

I didn’t go back.

 

Fortunately Jamie Linn was there to help him rebound and rebuild once he was back home. She’d had a crush on him for as long as anyone could remember, and she was a nurse now, or home care aide or traveling physical therapist, something that got her into his house each day and got him back to healthy. And once he was better, up and around and selling used cars with his dad, she’d stuck around. It was the perfect romance story come to life, except my mom said Eli had bad spells where he’d just lock himself in his room and stare at the walls, and Jamie Linn got all weepy whenever a show like The Bachelor or 19 Kids and Counting came on and reminded her that she was twenty-seven, childless, and engaged to a moody one-handed used-car salesman.

Post a link to your eight sentences blog entry, or join the fun at the Weekend Writing Warriors website.

And make sure to get a copy of my latest short story, “Not My Thing,” free at Smashwords, Barnes and Noble, and Amazon.

 

Weekend Writing Warriors 11/2/14 #8sunday

the futility of loving a soldierI have a new book of short stories, The Futility of Loving a Soldier, coming out December 1st from Evolved Publishing.

The Futility of Loving a Soldier is a collection of eleven short stories about the effects of combat on relationships with military friends and family. Moving between why we love our soldiers to why we hate them, The Futility of Loving a Soldier demonstrates that we wouldn’t want lives without them.

Today’s excerpt is from “Burger Run,” about two friends sneaking out for a late-night snack the summer after their high school graduation. Eli has enlisted in the Army, and Abby is headed to college.

Eli cut the engine, handed me a burger, then took one for himself. I unwrapped it slowly, focusing on the patterns the grease made on the paper. I took a bite, even though I wasn’t that hungry. Beside me, Eli stared straight ahead, the burger on his lap untouched.

 

“Eli?” Usually he’d inhaled at least an entire burger before I even had mine out of the bag.

 

“What if they make me kill someone, Rabbit?” His voice was so quiet I had to strain to hear him.

Post a link to your eight sentences blog entry, or join the fun at the Weekend Writing Warriors website.

And make sure to get a copy of my latest short story, “Not My Thing,” free at Smashwords, Barnes and Noble, and Amazon.

Weekend Writing Warriors 9/21/14 #8sunday

lwcover300x446For September, I’m going to pull from my novel, The Lone Wolf, which was released last fall.

After her husband’s infidelities are revealed, Kasey Sanford just wants to rediscover who she is. After an abusive childhood and years as a career soldier, Andrew Adams just wants someone to tell him that he’s doing the right thing with his life. When their paths cross, Kasey and Andrew embark on a tumultuous journey that demonstrates just what they’re willing to do to save the ones they love.

Last week, Kasey and Andrew shared a look across a bookstore. This excerpt is from a week after that first meeting.

While browsing McKay’s history section, walking backwards reading the titles, I bumped into the blue-eyed man, who was engrossed in the military history section.

 

He scowled at me for a brief moment, but as recognition dawned in his eyes his expression softened.

 

“I’m so sorry,” I said as heat rushed to my face. “I wasn’t paying attention; I didn’t mean to disturb you.”

 

“No harm, no foul.” The corners of his lips drew back into a smile, or perhaps a smirk. “You come here a lot, right? I’ve noticed you around.”

Post a link to your eight sentences blog entry, or join the fun at the Weekend Writing Warriors website.

You can get a copy of The Lone Wolf at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Smashwords, or the audiobook at Amazon, Audible, or iTunes.

And make sure to get a copy of my latest short story, “Not My Thing,” free at Smashwords, Barnes and Noble, and Amazon.

Fall 2014 goal review

Every year, I set goals for myself, and every three months, I review my progress. After the hectic summer I had (working 50 hours/week, 20 hour/week internship, two classes, and researching for my thesis), I don’t know why I’m even bothering because I didn’t accomplish anything this summer, but here goes anyways.

1. Finish my third novel, tentatively titled On the Other Side, which will be a steampunk political thriller because, well, why not.

This not only didn’t happen, but On The Other Side has been pushed out of line by outlines for two other novels that I might write first. One is about five characters very loosely based on people I met while interning at a homeless shelter, and the other is a sequel to The Lone Wolf.

2. Write and submit at least one new short story every month.

I’ve had two submissions in 2014: one for a publication that went defunct, and one rejection. I haven’t finished any new stories recently, but I’ve been heavily mulling over plot points; all I really need is to make myself sit down and write them. And then submit them.

I’ve recently joined a local writing group that starts each bimonthly meeting with a short story prompt. I’m hoping to finish each story I write and get them submitted.

3.Get a short story collection ready for publication (not including The Futility of Loving a Soldier, which will be out this fall from Evolved – hopefully).

I have three stories with similar themes and tones, plus a couple more half-finished stories that would fit with them. If I can get six done, I’ll publish them like I did with Us, Together.

4. Self-publish at least two long short stories.

I’m currently working on three that should come out to be about 10-20k words. Depending on when/if I get them done, I’ll probably go through my publisher, Evolved Publishing, rather than self-publish, like I did for “Not My Thing.” The results have been awesome for that – it hit #1 in July on Amazon’s free literary short stories list.

5. Read 100 books.

I’m at 43 – 24 books behind schedule.

6. Learn a new language – either Spanish, Tamil, Arabic, or Icelandic – to the point I can carry on a basic conversation in it.

I plan to really hit this goal this fall. I’m taking a class on campus once a week, so I’m hoping to get some language CDs to listen to on the hour-long drive. It’s nice to decompress to whatever’s on my iPod, but I feel kinda guilt for not being productive during that time, considering how much stuff I always have to do.

If you’ve set goals for yourself, how’re they going so far this year?

 

 

Summer 2014 goal review

Every year, I set goals for myself, and every quarter, I review my progress. This review will be very sad, because I currently work full-time, have a part-time internship, and take a couple classes in addition to writing and sleeping and eating when I get a chance.

1. Finish my third novel, tentatively titled On the Other Side, which will be a steampunk political thriller because, well, why not.

Same as in April: this hasn’t happened, and is nowhere close to happening any time soon. And actually, polishing my next novel, A Handful of Wishes, is taking longer than expected, so its release date has been pushed back to next April.

2. Write and submit at least one new short story every month.

I’m currently 2/6 for submissions. And one of those publications closed since I submitted. But on the plus side, I have a huge long list of story ideas that I’m slowly plodding through.

3.Get a short story collection ready for publication (not including The Futility of Loving a Soldier, which will be out this fall from Evolved – hopefully).

I have an idea for a themed anthology, kind of in the vein of Not My Thing, and I’m slowly working on some of them. Again, no time to write.

4. Self-publish at least two long short stories through my publisher.

My publisher, Evolved, released “Not My Thing” in April. It’s free everywhere, and currently #3 on Amazon’s list of literary short stories.

5. Read 100 books.

I haven’t read anything for about a month. According to Goodreads, I’m currently at 33 books – 16 behind.

6. Learn a new language – either Spanish, Tamil, Arabic, or Icelandic – to the point I can carry on a basic conversation in it.

Slowly but surely, I’m conquering Spanish. I’m able to read the Spanish billboards around town (although I think that’s more from knowing French than any Spanish I’ve learned). But I’ll get there!

If you’ve set goals for yourself, how’re they going so far this year?

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